Know Your Stuff

“Whether you are writing a review or a love letter, the great thing to be confronted with is a very vivid idea of your subject.”  Modern essayist, Virginia Woolf gives good advice.  Any written piece must have substance.  An article that does not have sufficient, well written content isn’t worth reading.

This is especially true when we live in an age where we are inundated with information.  In 2007 it was predicted that human knowledge would double every 5 years.  It was calculated that academic publications were increasing by 35% and it was predicted that they would double every 2.3 years.  This only speaks about new knowledge and information, but old information is also available.  Many famous libraries are going digital.  That means that even rare and antiquated books are available to everyone.  Therefore, when you write for your audiences, you must make sure that the information you give and the way you write is of the highest degree.  Because there is so much information available, the competition is fierce.  This is particularly true on the Internet.  Therefore there is no room for empty words; words that just fill space and are without substance.

To have a ‘vivid idea’ means that you need to know your subject well.  You actually need to know more about your subject, and think more about your subject than you write about your subject.  If you don’t have the information about a particular topic that you are going to write about, you need to research it well.  You need to research it to the point that you are well-versed in the matter.  When you know your subject, you generally write better than if you piece-meal a topic together from here and there because you aren’t familiar enough with your topic.  If you don’t write an article of substance and if it is not well written, then you will loose your readership.

Once you have your content, you need to plan your article.  Some people brainstorm before writing.  They may also do an outline that includes an introduction paragraph (your thesis paragraph), about 3 body paragraphs and a conclusion paragraph.  A general rule of thumb is to have at least 3 supporting points for your topic.  If you don’t have that, then you don’t have enough content to write about.  If you do this, you will construct a well laid out article.

Of course a well written article must be grammatically correct, include creatively well-placed vocabulary and capture the reader’s interest.  Don’t use words just because they sound appealing.  Know exactly how to use a word and how it will enhance the article to say precisely what you want it to say.  Good grammar is an absolute must.  Bad grammar will turn away your reader.  If your grammar needs help, take some training.  It will give you great dividends in the end.

Writing a full-bodied article that is chock-full of interesting and informative content is vital to a successful paper.  Only William Shakespeare could write “Much Ado About Nothing”.  Mere mortals must write about something.

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